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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
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Claim CA321:

Scientists are motivated to support naturalism and reject nonnaturalistic ideas, such as creationism.


  1. This claim is easily disproved by the fact that many scientists are strongly religious, having adopted nonnaturalistic ideas in their private lives.

  2. Although motives in any large group are going to differ from person to person, the most common motive that makes people become scientists is curiosity. It has nothing to do with supporting naturalism.

  3. Within the practice of science, there is not anything suggesting naturalism as a goal. The main motives are curiosity, professional pride, and material rewards. Pride enters because scientists must make their work available for all to see, so they want it to look good, and in particular they are motivated to do work that can withstand challenges. Material awards come mainly in the form of applying for funding, which means satisfying the funding agencies, which usually means the research must have some promise for practical value.

  4. Although naturalism is not a motive for most scientists, its rejection is an explicit motive for most science pursued by antievolutionists. For example, the faculty and students of the Institute for Creation Research Graduate School subscribe to a statement of faith in biblical inerrancy and antievolution (ICR 2000). Jonathan Wells pursued a biology degree in order to discredit evolution (Wells n.d.). He did so at the urging of Reverend Moon, whom Wells sees as the second coming of Christ (Wells 1991). William Dembski also sees religious motivation as paramount (Dembski and Richards 2001). The "overthrow of materialism" is the motivating basis for the Wedge Strategy, which is the operating principle for the intelligent design movement (CRSC 1998).

    Perhaps when creationists claim that scientists are operating under ulterior motives, they are merely projecting how they themselves operate.


Isaak, Mark, 2002. A philosophical premise of 'naturalism'?


  1. CRSC. 1998. The Wedge Strategy.
  2. Dembski, William A. and Jay Wesley Richards. 2001. Unapologetic Apologetics, Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, ,
  3. ICR. 2000. ICR tenets of creationism.
  4. Wells, Jonathan. n.d. Darwinism: Why I went for a second Ph.D. See also: Anonymous. n.d. Dr. Jonathan Wells returns to UTS.
  5. Wells, Jonathan. 1991. Marriage and the family: the Unification blessing.

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created 2001-2-17